Composer Stephen Flaherty Talks About No Importance and New Works

News   Composer Stephen Flaherty Talks About No Importance and New Works Although its fall run at Lincoln Center Theater's Mitzi E. Newhouse ends Dec. 29, A Man of No Importance, remains important to the composer, Stephen Flaherty.

Although its fall run at Lincoln Center Theater's Mitzi E. Newhouse ends Dec. 29, A Man of No Importance, remains important to the composer, Stephen Flaherty.

The Dublin-set show is special to Ragtime and Seussical composer Flaherty for a lot of reasons, not least of which is his Irish-Catholic roots.

When Ragtime librettist Terrence McNally asked the composer what he wanted to write, the answer was: Something Irish.

"I've always wanted to write an Irish piece," Flaherty told Playbill On-Line for the Dec. 10-16 Brief Encounter interview. "After Ragtime, I didn't want to do an historical drama. I'm not interested in doing the Potato Famine musical. And I am Irish Catholic. [Terrence] chewed on it and came back a couple of weeks later and he had rented the video of 'Man of No Importance.' I wasn't sure how the music would come out of such a naturalistic story."

In addition to talking about the process of creating A Man of No Importance with McNally and lyricist Lynn Ahrens, Flaherty discussed his in-progress new musicals, based on the books "Dessa Rose" and "The Glorious Ones." Click here to view the Stephen Flaherty Brief Encounter.

— By Kenneth Jones